Discussion of Family As the Key Institution in Society

This essay will discuss the view that the family is the key institution in society.

It will look at changes in family structures, marriage, and marriage practices, using a range of sociological perceptive to explain these changes and evaluate the main factors that have produced these changes.

According to Sociologists, the family is an intimate domestic group of people related to one another by bonds of blood, sexual mating, or legal ties. Therefore, it is important to provide them the best childcare so that they grow up to be physically, mentally and emotionally strong individuals.
Stephen (1999) defines the family as a social arrangement based on marriage including recognition of rights and duties of parenthood, common residence for husband, wife and children are reciprocal economic obligations between husband and wife.
George Peter Murdock (1949) defines the family as a universal institution.

Since the world war II, the UK family structure has changed dramatically, from how they carry on to their social work. The term nuclear family can be defined simply as a wife/mother, a husband/father, and their children. First, is the nuclear family universalfound in every known human society? To the larger extended family is 3 generations living under one rooftop, and this is grandparents, parents, and kids. However, the family unit has turned out to be fundamental today as separations rise, so more dads are bringing up children themselves. In addition, the possibility of a model family has additionally changed considering gay couples, where numerous children are raised by mothers or even women. The developing rate of dwelling together between couples is an expanding rate from the late 20th century, this is due to many couples declining to marry. In any case, because of these many children found in two separate families. life is longer than it was, and numerous people beyond 20 years old still live in the home. These referred to as KIPPERS , contrasted with the 1950s, and many of them are as of now married and start their own family. Then again, the National Statistics Office, which is around 3 000 grown-ups between the ages of 20 and 34, still lives with their parents, an expansion of a large portion of a million from 1997. (Walker, 2018)

Marriage 50 years ago, relatively everybody got married, in a church, it was almost a coordinated effort, very few registry services so most individuals went to the chapel and the church.

Additionally there is this types of marriages; Monogamy, polygamy, polygyny and polyandry. Monogamy refers to the marital practice in which an individual marries one partner (unlike Polygyny where a man has more than one wife and Polyandry where a woman has more than one husband).
However, from the perspective of social science, the practice of monogamy can be understood in two ways; marriage with one person at a time, or being married to more than one person at a time, is accepted (Murdock 1967), with most polygamous societies existing in northern Africa and East Asia (Altman and Ginat 1996). These sorts of marriages are illegal in Britain. If people do this crime is called bigamy even though these kinds of marriage are impeccably legal and ordinary in different parts of the world relying upon there with the appropriate response culture. In Britain have whats called sequential monogamy, it implies in the British culture limited one lady he is seen as the perfect. As urbanisation increases in these cultures. Then again something does rather than marriage and there are several details on this individual are in their twenties have to cohabit to live together to preclude them inhabit before they get married, what their example is by all accounts you live with the partner for around three years toward the finish of this period, most couples in their twenties get married or separate. While homosexuality has existed for a great many years among partners, formal marriage between gay partners is a generally late development. Starting at 2009, just two states in the United States perceived marriage between same-sex accomplices, Massachusetts and Iowa, where was formally permitted as of May 17, 2004 and April 2009, respectively, three extra states permit same-sex common associations, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Vermont. Between May 2004 and December 2006, 7,341 same-sex couples married in Massachusetts. BBC NEWS (2007).

Types of wedding are changed a great deal, it used to be all in churches but presently people can get married on London eye for instance, it seems is that many people do not follow religious practices any more.

There are many perceptive on families, one of which is a functionalist model of family, supported by sociologists, Parsons (1951) and Murdock (1949). Functionalism is a consensus model of society, emphasising how society made up of different parts work together on agreement about norms and value to survive and maintain operating harmoniously. This would be described the same way the human body has different organs performing different functions work together to main the whole body, Murdock (1949) argued that were main functions to maintain the family: to meet the needs of society and its members, sexual, reproduction socialization and economic; Socialising of the young to teach the norms and value by regulating how we behave to ply our part in society going.

Another perceptive on families, is the Feminist approach, which has diverse sociological hypotheses, for instance; Liberal Feminist, Marxism Feminism and Radical Feminism. Womans rights are a contentions point of view, which have challenged sexual orientation of jobs related in the nuclear family. Feminists argue that society misuses women by empowering men, by making them believe their only acceptable role is to be housewife and have little fairness in gender roles. They additionally trust that the nuclear family unit is the reproducing ground for patriarchal qualities, which makes a patriarchal society. Liberal Feminists, the Marxist Feminists, and Black feminists vary fundamentally to the degree to whether they believe if the family is still patriarchal and what the main cause of the presence of patriarchy could be. Marxists believe this is done through women reproducing creating labour force which will create more salary for capitalists. They also believed that women are used by servicing the current workers, being their husband and absorbing all their anger from work. However, they argue that this anger should be direct towards the bourgeois, who also exploits men.

On the other hand, Jeniffer Sommerville (2000) explains a less extreme evaluate and recommends thought to enhance family life for ladies by modest policy reforms instead of a revolutionary change. Jennifer Somerville (2000) argues that many Feminists have not to know the progress of women of freedom that they have by going into paid.

Conjugal roles are another reason, the families have changed because they have been more equal in recent years. There are two kinds of conjugal roles; one is where the couple doesnt share housework and childcare, choices and recreation time. While the other is, the couple share housework childcare, choices and relaxation time. This likewise recommends families are not any more well balanced yet that there is an increase democracy for women, as they are in paid work like never before previously. Therefore, families today are also less patriarchal as the power isnt simply held by the man in the household.

For many centuries Karl Marx, a Marxist theorist based his that modern society has only two classes According to Marx, in capitalist societies the proletariat have the consciousness that they are well off because the bourgeoisie pays them enough to be able to afford food and a place to live. Society now is much more complex than what Marx foresaw a hundred years ago, as he ignored race, age, gender because not all workers will have the same experiences within the workplace despite being of similar social class.

The main reason for change in families is based on changing economic systems, that is mainly capitalism where womens role has changed tremendously and is making its greatest impact in our society today.
Most women claim they are the chief financial officer of the household, and more married women report being the primary breadwinner of the family. Additionally, women report they either have a great deal of responsibility or they do it all, when managing the households long-term savings and investments.
Despite having such a large impact on household finances, the number of women who say they have more earning power than theyve ever had has decreased to 50 percent (compared to 57 percent in 2013).National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (2018)


  • Courses.lumenlearning.com. (2018). Reading: Marriage and Courtship Patterns | Introduction to Sociology. [online] Available at: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/atd-bhcc-introsoc/chapter/reading-marriage-and-courtship-patterns/ [Accessed 15 Nov. 2018].
  • News.bbc.co.uk. (2018). BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Map: Gay marriage across the US. [online] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3516551.. 2018].
  • Sparknotes.com. (2018). SparkNotes: Social Stratification and Inequality: Theories of Stratification. [online] Available at: http://www.sparknotes.com/sociology/social-stratification-and-inequality/section4 [Accessed 15 Nov. 2018].
  • “>https://www.thoughtco.com/theoretical-perspectives-3026716
  • Thompson, K. (2018). The Functionalist Perspective on the Family ~ ReviseSociology. [online] ReviseSociology. Available at: https://revisesociology.com/2014/02/09/functionalist-perspective-family/ [Accessed 15 Nov. 2018].


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